Kevin Youkilis and the Chicago White Sox visit Yankee Stadium Thursday to begin a four-game series. Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The New York Yankees begin a four-game series with the Chicago White Sox Thursday night, and they will do so with a patch work pitching staff. A CC Sabathia groin injury and a broken fibula suffered Wednesday by Andy Pettitte have landed two of the Yankees' three best starting pitchers on the disabled list -- Pettitte possibly for as long as two months.
The Yankees enter Thursday's action against the American League Central Division leading White Sox (40-35) with the best record in baseball (46-28) and having opened a five-game cushion over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Yankees are riding a five-game winning streak, and have won 15 of their past 18 and 25 of their past 32.Considering what happened to their pitching staff on Wednesday the question, of course, is whether they can maintain that pace.
Thursday night the Yankees will send the best starting pitcher they have left, Ivan Nova, to the mound. Nova is 9-2 with a 4.25 ERA, and 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in his last three starts. The White Sox will pitch Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.85).
After Thursday, the fun begins with the Yankee starting rotation.
Friday night right-hander Adam Warren will make his Major League debut for the Yankees. Warren, 24, was 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in 15 starts this season at AAA Scranton-Wilkes/Barre.
Saturday, veteran Hiroki Kuroda pitches for the Yankees and Sunday it will be Phil Hughes' turn. Veteran Freddy Garcia, bounced from the rotation earlier this season, will also become one of the team's five starters.
"Everybody's got to carry their own weight around here and play good baseball. That's it," said Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.[via MLB.com]
"It's a good test. We've been tested a little bit more than we'd like to be tested around here. [Mariano Rivera] went down, and guys have stepped up. [Brett] Gardner went down, other guys stepped up. We'll have to do the same. It's a long season. When you come out of Spring Training and break camp, you don't expect to have 25 guys healthy the whole year. Today is another challenge, and I think we'll do fine."
To replace Sabathia and Pettitte the Yankees not only called up Warren, but added veteran reliever Ryota Igarashi to the 25-man roster.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Wednesday night that he would "prefer not to go outside" to find short-term solutions to the pitching issue.
"Obviously if we do go outside, we've done that before. This is part of the process. You have to have alternatives; this gives opportunities for people to step up," Cashman said. "Just like some guys in the bullpen have allowed us to step up and withstand some injuries - that's what Boone Logan, Clay Rapada and [Cody] Eppley have done - we're going to have to ask for some other guys to do that for the rotation, as well. Let's play it out and see where it takes us."
Cashman hinted that David Phelps, who went 1-2 with a 2.94 ERA in 13 games (two starts) could be back eventually once he gets stretched out enough to be a full-fledged starter.
Thursday will also be the first time the Yankees see Kevin Youkilis as a member of the White Sox. The former Boston Red Sox star was traded to Chicago just a few days ago.
Thursday's game begins at 7:05 p.m. and can be seen on the YES Network.
4 game series vs White Sox @ Yankee Stadium
|Fri 06/29||7:05 PM EDT|
|Sat 06/30||1:05 PM EDT|
|Sun 07/01||2:05 PM EDT|